Podzol Soil Profile

December 11, 2005

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Provided by: Randy Schaetzl, Michigan State University - Geography
Summary authors & editors: Randy Schaetzl

The photo above shows a soil profile of one of the best developed Spodosol (Podzol) soils in the continental U.S -- taken in Newberry, Michigan on October 8, 2005. This soil series is Wallace sand, which has the characteristics of being sandy, well mixed, frigid, and shallow (ortstein Typic Durorthod). Formed in dune sand, the soil has a thick, bleached E horizon above a Bhsm horizon, indurated with aluminum (Al) and iron (Fe) compounds. The cemented B horizon material is referred to as ortstein, and is root-restricting. Spodosols like this develop via podzolization, a process that's especially strong in the cool, snowy climate of northern Michigan.

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